I've noticed on American-oriented dictionaries/wordlists dotted about the WWW that the sound of the letter 'o' tends to be written as 'ah', e.g. "KAHNskript".
This has kind-of surprised me, as surely to Americans it's the 'o' sound. Moreover, in sources that use IPA I've variously seen it written as /a/, /a:/, /A:/, /A/, /O:/. (For that matter, CALD and CDAE don't seem to be able to make up their mind.) Here in Britain, /A:/ is used as in 'father', 'path' and 'cart' (OK, so there are regional differences), whereas /A./ is our 'o' sound as in 'box'.

To me, 'ah' in a pronunciation would mean /A:/. To my ears, an American 'o' sounds similar but by no means identical to an /A:/. The presence of renderings of AmE 'o' as 'ah' suggests that it makes sense to some extent - do many of you across the pond have the same vowel in 'father', 'aunt' etc. as in 'dog', 'box', etc.?
Stewart.
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I've noticed on American-oriented dictionaries/wordlists dotted about the WWW that the sound of the letter 'o' tends to be written as 'ah', e.g. "KAHNskript". This has kind-of surprised me, as surely to Americans it's the 'o' sound.

"Ah" is less ambiguous. To be unambiguous about the "long o" sound in "soap", I'd generally write "oh" in informal environments (i.e., not for the sci.lang eggheads), but if a word were rendered phonetically with just "o" I'd probably assume it was meant to be "long o" as well. And indeed, in my speech, the first syllable of "conscript" sounds just like both the word "con" and the surname "Kahn".
Moreover, in sources that use IPA I've variously seen it written as /a/, /a:/, /A:/, /A/, /O:/. (For that matter, ... their mind.) Here in Britain, /A:/ is used as in 'father', 'path' and 'cart' (OK, so there are regional differences),

For me, these are three different sounds (particularly since I pronounce the "r" in "cart").
whereas /A./ is our 'o' sound as in 'box'. To me, 'ah' in a pronunciation would mean /A:/. To my ears, an American 'o' sounds similar but by no means identical to an /A:/.

I do think it depends on which part of the US you're talking about.
The presence of renderings of AmE 'o' as 'ah' suggests that it makes sense to some extent - do many of you across the pond have the same vowel in 'father', 'aunt' etc. as in 'dog', 'box', etc.?

"Aunt" is a separate issue because, like "either" and "often", it has two alternate pronunciations that are independent of other dialectal variations: /Ant/ and /&nt/.
I've noticed on American-oriented dictionaries/wordlists dotted about the WWW that the sound of the letter 'o' tends to be written ... do many of you across the pond have the same vowel in 'father', 'aunt' etc. as in 'dog', 'box', etc.?

My understanding is that, except in Eastern New England, they usually have the same vowel in "father" and "box", but that "aunt" and "dog" may well be different.
In terms of the "lexical sets" of Wells's book Accents of English , the relevant sets are TRAP, BATH, PALM, LOT, CLOTH and THOUGHT.

In a northern English accent like mine, the pattern is TRAP and BATH are the same (the "short a")
PALM is on its own (the "ah" sound)
LOT and CLOTH are the same (the "short o")
THOUGHT is on its own (the "aw" sound)
In RP and other "broad a" accents, BATH is moved to join PALM. Old-fashioned RP sometimes moves CLOTH to join THOUGHT (think of how they say "off").
My understanding is that in a typical CINC ("cot" is not "caught") AmE accent, the pattern is
TRAP and BATH are the same (the "short a")
PALM and LOT are the same (the "short o", or "ah" sound) CLOTH and THOUGHT are the same (the "aw" sound)
There are of course variations on this.
Now "father" is a PALM word, "path" is a BATH words, "box" is a LOT word, and I believe "dog" is a CLOTH word. So a CINC American is likely to pronounce "box" and "father" with the same vowel, but "dog" with a different one, and "path" with a third vowel.

I think "aunt" is a bit more complicated - in my accent it behaves like a BATH word so that I pronounce "ant" and "aunt" the same, but there seem to be some accents in which it behaves like a PALM word.

In many American accents, the LOT/PALM vowel can sound to my ears like my TRAP/BATH vowel.
Jonathan
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I've noticed on American-oriented dictionaries/wordlists dotted about the WWW that the sound of the letter 'o' tends to be written ... many of you across the pond have the same vowel in 'father', 'aunt' etc. as in 'dog', 'box', etc.? Stewart.

They speak like that in New York, Robert Kennedy was always called Bahbby Kinnedy. People think that here in Boston we say it bahston for some reason, we say it more to bawston I alway figured this was because of the broad A, dropped R in words like park or harbor which we pronounce like "pahk , or hahbuh. Anytime
I've been outside New England people want me to say"that funny poem you people say" and I duly oblige this is followed by gales of laughter at my accent.
The "funny poem" is "Park the car in Harvard Yard" it sounds like "pahk the cah in hahvud yahd"
Stewart asked:
do many of you across the pond have the same vowel in 'father', 'aunt' etc. as in 'dog', 'box', etc.?

That question isn't on today's ballots, but I'll give you a write-in vote: in my speech, the questioned vowels in , , and differ from each other, and the vowel in matches that in .
"Ah" is less ambiguous. To be unambiguous about the "long o" sound in "soap", I'd generally write "oh" in informal ... a word were rendered phonetically with just "o" I'd probably assume it was meant to be "long o" as well.

Where I'm from, a single vowel in a phonetic transcription of this sort always means the letter's usual short sound.
And indeed, in my speech, the first syllable of "conscript" sounds just like both the word "con" and the surname "Kahn".

Does "Khan" sound the same as well?
The presence of renderings of AmE 'o' as 'ah' suggests ... vowel in 'father', 'aunt' etc. as in 'dog', 'box', etc.?

"Aunt" is a separate issue because, like "either" and "often", it has two alternate pronunciations that are independent of other dialectal variations: /Ant/ and /&nt/.

I see. FTM, how do you pronounce "au" as in "cause" or "automatic"? (These are both /O:/ in BrE - "aunt" is an exception and is /A:nt/)

Stewart.
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They speak like that in New York, Robert Kennedy was always called Bahbby Kinnedy.

Wrong. Unlike much of the Midwest, we distinguish /in/ from /en/.
Peter T. Daniels (Email Removed)

Yes.
"Aunt" is a separate issue because, like "either" and "often", it has two alternate pronunciations that are independent of other dialectal variations: /Ant/ and /&nt/.

I see. FTM, how do you pronounce "au" as in "cause" or "automatic"?

For me those are /O/.
I see. FTM, how do you pronounce "au" as in "cause" or "automatic"? (These are both /O:/ in BrE - "aunt" is an exception and is /A:nt/)

For sufficiently small values of BrE.
Although normally represents the "caught" vowel in my variety of BrE, I can think of several groups of exceptions - "cat" vowel in "aunt" and "laugh", "cot" vowel in "sausage" and "Australia" (and a few others), "cold" vowel in "fault", and then there's Dolgellau.
Jonathan
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